Candler Goes Digital, Still Connecting in Ways that Matter

March 26, 2020

Like other colleges and universities across the U.S., Emory and Candler have moved to remote learning to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. But remote learning doesn’t mean remote community! Take a look at a few of the ways Candler is going digital to keep students connected to the Candler resources and people who support our spiritual and academic growth.

Campus Visits
Even as we alter our daily lives and routines to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Candler Admissions is still hard at work preparing for our new class to enter in the fall of 2020. While we aren’t hosting on-campus visits right now, we hope you’ll schedule a time to chat with an admissions team member by phone or video (it’s up to you!) to discuss vocational discernment, academic options, and the many ways a degree from Candler will prepare you to take your next step. And be sure to sign up for our first virtual campus visit opportunity on April 16, with more to come!

The switch to remote learning isn’t stopping Candler from providing ongoing opportunities for an essential piece of seminary life: worship. Assistant Dean of Worship and Music Khalia Williams and the 16 students who work for Candler’s Office of Worship (OOW) are busy creating what Williams calls “devotion moments” that will be shared daily on the OOW’s social media platforms and YouTube channel. Find out more—and tune in via FacebookTwitterInstagram, or YouTube.

Student Life
Candler’s Office of Student Programming (OSP) has also created virtual space for community as classes restart after an extended spring break. OSP staff host regular communal “gatherings” on the video conference platform Zoom, including a weekly lunch discussion, a weekly centering moment, and even yoga classes! Online tutoring sessions and professional development workshops are also taking place, and student staffers have even created a digital community playlist on Spotify to help their peers focus and de-stress.

Pitts Theology Library
Our library staff is dedicated to ensuring that our students continue to have access to the resources they need to be successful academically, even if it’s all done remotely. On their social media channels, Pitts is highlighting a “Daily Digital Resource,” sharing new or relevant electronic resources available to students. Our reference librarians are also virtually accessible to help guide students to the resources that fit their assignment.

EmoryTogether Fund
The challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented are affecting every aspect of our lives—including finances. Knowing that these issues will hit home for many of our students, Emory University has launched the EmoryTogether Fund, a $5 million fund designed to support students facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19. This may include assistance for basic needs, family/medical needs, and educational support. Learn more about the EmoryTogether Fund.

Extra Credit
Candler faculty members are stepping into this new environment with energy and authenticity. Here are three providing resources for those seeking faith, fellowship, and inspiration.

Tony Alonso, assistant professor of theology and culture and director of Candler’s Catholic Studies program, is offering an Evensong service on Facebook Live every Sunday at 8 p.m. EDT. Watch here, and read more about Alonso’s offering in the National Catholic Reporter.

Letitia Campbell, assistant professor in the practice of ethics and society, co-created the private Facebook group Multifaith Clergy & Spiritual Communal Responses to Covid-19 that has grown to over 5,000 members in just days, and exists as a space for clergy of all faiths to support one another and discuss how to minister and serve in the age of COVID-19. Read Campbell’s thoughts on the importance of this connection in the Washington Post.

Gregory C. Ellison II, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, has been sharing brief video meditations featuring what he calls “the wisdom of sages that have offered me solace in the storm.” From Howard Thurman to Mari Evans to Desmond Tutu’s The African Prayer Book, Ellison’s devotionals from his living room help reframe and refocus our souls during this strange time. Watch all the videos here.